Interested in Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Bowen Therapy or the Neuroemotional Technique?

As the profile of Naturopathic Medicine in North America has been on the rise in recent years, I have increasingly been contacted by prospective Naturopathic Medical students who are interested frank feedback on my education and career as a Naturopathic Doctor in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver & Port Coquitlam.

In fact, just this week, I received emails from three different individuals who, despite hailing each from different continents, all posed near-identical reiterations of this basic question.

When synchronicity blugeons me on the head like this, I can't help but take notice. :)

So, without further adieu, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a Naturopathic Medical career in the Greater Vancouver region of BC.

Lets start with some pros.

In short, my experience as a naturopath in the GVRD has been very rewarding thus far.

I mean that primarily in an emotional and spiritual sense, although this profession can no doubt be financially lucrative.

Of course, the value of doing something for which you have a passion cannot be underestimated, and certainly cannot be properly in mere dollars and cents.

On the other hand, there have naturally been downsides as well.

For instance, after completing my undergraduate Systems Engineering degree, I was fortunate enough to be accepted to both naturopathic (ND) and conventional allopathic (MD) medical schools.

While that doesn't sound like much of a downside, you'll see what I'm getting at soon! :)

I chose the former because, after having just left the cold, analytical world of engineering, I was careful to avoid thrusting myself back into another rigidly-mechanistic and numbingly-clinical program.

The scope of education at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine was certainly well-rounded enough to allow for training in somewhat non-clinical or alternative disciplines, such as electrotherapy and exercise rehabilitation training.

Additionally, the inclusion of the naturopathic core treatment disciplines:

  1. Homeopathy
  2. Botanical Medicine (Herbalism)
  3. Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM / TCM)
  4. Therapeutic Nutrition
  5. Psychological Counseling (including that of patients and their loved ones in near-death cases, or even through the death process, and cognitive behavioral therapy), and
  6. Physical Medicine (Naturopathic Physical Manipulation, similar to chiropractic, as well as Massage, Hydrotherapy, UV light, and ultrasound therapies)

gave me a plethora of useful skills that I still regularly use in my daily practice.

Nonetheless, as most graduates of the seven fully-accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools:

  1. Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
  2. Bastyr University
  3. Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
  4. National College of Natural Medicine
  5. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  6. University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine 
  7. National University of Health Sciences

would no doubt attest to, there's no shortage of clinical work involved in getting the ND degree! 

With extensive training in conventional clinical and biomedical sciences, such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Lab Diagnosis
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemical Connections
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Oncology
  • Physical Clinical Diagnosis

as well as an additional post-graduate phamaceutical therapy course, I along with many of my collegues have attained sufficient training to prescribe all but the most restricted pharmaceuticals along MDs.

However, note that this does not imply that I choose to prescribe pharmaceuticals on a daily or even monthly basis.

Instead, as eloquently stated by Dr. Christoph Kind, ND, the president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA),

“In a sense, the ability to prescribe legitimizes the decision not to prescribe."

So, despite their seeming differences, there are many similarities between the depth, direction and focus of study in naturopathic and conventional (allopathic) medical schools alike.

This chart highlights the similarities between accredited ND and MD education - as well as the striking differences between the fully-accredited ND programs administered by the aforementioned seven schools (the leftmost two columns in the chart) and the non-accredited "ND" knockoff degrees issued in non-regulated states (the rightmost two columns).

As for my experience in my early years of practice, there were again some positives and some negatives.

One of the positives was that, by the completion of my ND degree, I had received a plethora of clinical training - over 2000 hours devoted specifically to seeing patients and making real-life treatment decisions - via the Boucher student clinic and intership.

This naturally helped to create a relatively smooth transition into the working world.

In fact, the interships I had completed presented me with job opportunities at multiple clinics on graduation.

As a result, I was able to begin part-time work between preparations for my week-long board exams, and this transitioned nicely into full-time work immediately thereafter.

On the other hand, due to the relatively low profile of NDs in North America today, as well as the degree of competition in Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Port Coquitlam, I could not simply put out my shingle and magnetically begin attracting patients.

Admittedly, this magnetic force has become increasingly stronger in recent years.

However, I reason that has more to do with the positive word-of-mouth being spread by some of my wonderful patients than the modest increase in either Naturopathic Medicine's public image or the general demand for NDs in the GVRD, particularly in the heavily-saturated Vancouver city proper.

However, going back to the beginning of my career, I certainly could not then rely on word of mouth.

Instead, I was forced instead to wear the dual hats of physician and entrepreneur, and to manage the health of my business in tandem with that of my patients.

Despite having been well-trained for this businessman role, it was one I once long resisted, idealistically (and very stubbornly) shunning self-promotion in favour of intensive focus on patient care - which, after all, was what I became a doctor to do!

But at the end of the day, if one chooses to take the road less traveled, it's only natural that one must learn to blaze a trail.

And once that path has been cleared, the possible destinations to which it may be followed are limited only by a Naturopathic Doctor's drive, passion and imagination.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

Thank goodness for the bowen therapy!

I was worried I'd lose my leg because it was swollen and numb and sometimes painful to the touch.

All that changed after the bowen therapy.

The homeopathic remedy, and maybe the mental-emotional work, seemed to help too.

Actually, they must've helped, since I had a lot of other things get better too.

Like, I was concerned about my weight before, but I've lost 12 pounds in the past 4 months.

Even though that's not that much, I think I must've more muscle mass now, since people often comment on how much different I look.

Jen L., Burnaby (South Burnaby), BC

I had this bump on my nose that I got burnt off multiple times with dry ice.

But it kept coming back, and eventually became worse and worse, until it was diagnosed as skin cancer.

Then I saw Andy, and his homeopathic remedy and neuroemotional technique helped kill the cancer and let my skin heal.

I don't get the bump any more, and you can barely tell that I ever had anything there!

B.K., Surrey (Cloverdale / South Surrey), BC

Lucas's adenoids and tonsils were always at least partially enlarged, and they'd get worse whenever he'd get a cold.

Which was like every month.

Since your homeopathic remedy last year, he stopped getting sick as often.

And his glands are almost normal-sized now.

I don't notice him mouth-breathing or snoring very much at all these days.

Becky L, New Westminster, BC

I had given up on the conventional medical doctors, and was going crazy trying to find something to cure this debilitating bladder pain.

I was pretty resistant to Dr. Andy's homeopathic treatment and all neuroemotional techniques - it's pretty strange.

But I do feel much better now, so I know that it did something good.

And not just with my cystitis ... my sleep and energy have improved too.

Diane W, Surrey (North Surrey / Bolivar Heights), BC

Andy's bowen technique cured the laryngitis and acid reflux I used to get for years.

His neuroemotional work (NET) made my cough and depression almost totally cured too.

Kate R, West Vancouver (Caulfield / Horseshoe Bay), BC

I visited Dr. Andy for depression and after a thorough interview and muscle resistence testing I was prescribed a remedy and given a Bowen treatment.

I was literally a new person the morning after the treatment and felt ready to tackle the world again.

Dr. Andy is sympathetic and intuitive as well as knowledgeable.

His intense desire to help his patients and deep compassion brought about these quality results.

I have and will continue to recommend Dr. Andy to my friends and family.

Pam Johnson, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), B.C.

Years ago, I slipped in my bathroom, fell and fractured my tailbone.

I think it got worse after childbirth too.

Then I injured my shoulder and got whiplash from a car accident, and hurt my hip running.

The combination of Andy's homeopathic remedy, neuroemotional releases, and Bowen therapy helped my whole body feel better.

Now I don't get pain any more when I walk, run, or drive.

And I don't seem to get so easily injured either.

Diane B, Richmond (Steveston), BC

Multiple car accidents caused me to have less mobility and huge pain and stiffness in my neck, face and jaw.

I'd get super dizzy every couple of days, and have to go throw up.

My lymph nodes were always swollen too, and I got throat infections much more often.

I felt so tightly wound at work and in my marriage too.

The homeopathy, bowen therapy and neuroemotional releases all made my neck relax, and the pain started to go away too.

I've been pain-free for months, and have finally been able to drive without fear again.

Amanda R, Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows, BC

My jaw and tooth pains used to be constant, but have gone away almost totally since the homeopathy treatment. The migraines were so intense before that they made me miss work; they're 90-95% better now. My blood pressure is normal for the first time in years too.

A.K., West Vancouver, BC

I found that the remedies prescribed by Dr. Somody had a huge impact on previous debilitating female health problems that I had struggled with for years.

I feel that I can live my life the way I want to without having to worry about menstrual pain or bladder issues.

Dr. Somody has a caring and sensitive nature when he deals with his patients.

He makes a patient feel empowered by validating her own insights with regards to health matters.

When Dr. Somody uses emotional healing methods, a patient feels as if a weight has been lifted almost instantly.

I recommend him to my friends and family very often.

J. Sall, Port Coquitlam, BC

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